Finally, we have a federal judge who understand that, pandemic or not, a governor’s authority is both finite and conditional.
A ruling by U.S. District Judge William Stickman IV noted that the executive actions of Democratic Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf in order coronavirus-related restrictions and shutdowns are unconstitutional, especially those on social gatherings and forcing all “non-life-sustaining” businesses to shutter, WPXI reported.
While Wolf’s actions may have been “undertaken with the good intention of addressing a public health emergency…even in an emergency, the authority of government is not unfettered,” Stickman wrote.
“The Constitution sets certain lines that may not be crossed, even in an emergency,” he added, suggesting that Wolf’s orders did indeed cross them.
WTAE reported the declaratory judgment stipulates: congregate gathering limits imposed by defendants’ mitigation orders violate the right of assembly enshrined in the First Amendment, the stay-at-home and business closure components of defendants’ orders